Papilloedema

Papilloedema

At Specs of Kensington the emphasis is on eye health. Our extended appointment times ensure that our optometrists have all the time that is necessary to carry out the most appropriate and best possible eye examinations, tailored for each of our individual patients, whatever their age. we use the most up to date equipment and techniques including Ocular Coherence Tomography.

We look for all manner of eye diseases and possible cause of symptoms and problems including Papilloedema.

What is Papilloedema?

Papilloedema is a swelling of the optic disc (the area of the optic nerve that enters the eye).  It is typically seen in both eyes and is most commonly due to increased intracranial pressure. There are many possible causes of raised intracranial pressure. It is often accompanied by symptoms such as headaches, transient visual loss, double vision and sickness, although not always. When an optometrist detects papilloedema, they will normally make an emergency referral, which means the patient will be seen by an ophthalmologist within 24 hours.

 How common/unusual is it? 
Papilloedema is a rare condition. However the most common cause of papilloedema, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, is increasing due to the rising prevalence of obesity. Although papilloedema is most common in women, it can affect children and adults of any age.
Can it be treated?
In most cases it can be treated. Treatment will be directed at the underlying cause of the increased intracranial pressure. It is normally treated by a neurologist, with input from an ophthalmologist.
Should parents ensure their optometrist checks their child’s eyes for it? 
At every eye examination our optometrists will check the optic nerve, by looking at the back of the eye with a slit-lamp microscope or an ophthalmoscope. In addition to this, we use retinal cameras in to assess the back of the eye, including the optic nerve, as part of our eye examination for all children. If we have any concerns, we may also use specialist 3D scanning techniques know as OCT (Ocular Coherence Tomography) to assess the optic nerve further,
For general information about eye care see specsofken.com/eyecare and on the college of optometrists website lookafteryoureyes.org